FORT WORTH (AP) – The relentless summer heat wave is wilting business at North Texas greenhouses, with landscapers and growers offering heavy discounts as triple-digit temperatures hurt their inventory and keep customers at bay.
Landscape companies and sod suppliers tell the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that they’re frustrated. The mercury hit 105 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday, marking the 36th consecutive day of triple-digit heat in the region, and the National Weather Service is warning of temperatures of at least 104 through the week.
Until cooler weather prevails, growers, owners and landscapers are doing what they can to survive, such as offering big discounts to clear out their inventory.
“I can tell you the nursery business is struggling right now,” said Anthony Kahaly, store manager of the Keller Plant Shed. “We haven’t had heat like this in a long time for this amount of days.”
James Guthrey, sod landscape sales manager for Servall, a landscape supply company in Plano, said the seemingly never-ending heat “is going to kill a lot of grass.”
One of Kahaly’s greenhouses registered 122 degrees last week, but he said the effects could be worse on plants out in the open because they’re exposed directly to the scorching sun.
Many greenhouses at his Keller Plant Shed are empty now. The ones that are still full are covered with shade cloths to protect against the sun while sales signs offering 75 percent discounts line the plastic plant containers.
At a Fort Worth landscape supply store called Whiz-Q Stone, a large ice chest full of water was by the front door Saturday to help cool off customers who loaded up trucks with stone borders, mulch and gravel.
“We’re trying to make that as available as possible,” said Mike Whisenand, president of Whiz-Q Stone and past regional chairman of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association.
Whisenand said many customers are purchasing materials to construct patios, borders and retaining walls and are delaying the planting of flowers, trees and shrubs. Some are even buying small tents for shade.
“I’ve even heard of plumbers and all kinds of people setting those up for a little bit of shade,” Whisenand said. “Anything creative to get the job done and not totally pass out.”
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